Be on the alert for a suspicious email purportedly sent with the subject line “UPDATE YOUR ACCOUNT” or “UPDATE YOUR MAIL BOX”. This is a confirmed phishing message, designed to trick you into divulging your username and password. Do not click on the links in the message or reply to the message. If you find a copy of the message in your inbox, please delete it. If you find a copy of this message in your spam quarantine, please ignore it and do not release it. The message will be deleted from your quarantine automatically in the next few days.
Multi-Factor Authentication is a security technology that helps protect your Middlebury account from potential compromise by requiring the use of more than just a username and password to prove your identity during login.
Learn more about how you can start using Multi-Factor Authentication today to better protect your Middlebury account at http://go.middlebury.edu/mfa.
Be on the alert for a suspicious email purportedly sent with the subject line “Payroll Benefits.”. This is a confirmed phishing message, designed to trick you into divulging your username and password. Do not click on the links in the message or reply to the message. If you find a copy of the message in your inbox, please delete it. If you find a copy of this message in your spam quarantine, please ignore it and do not release it. The message will be deleted from your quarantine automatically in the next few days.
For more information about phishing attacks, please visit http://go.middlebury.edu/phishing. For more information about the spam quarantine, please visit http://go.middlebury.edu/spam.
Warning! Over the past couple of days Middlebury College has been the target of a well-crafted phishing campaign. Phishing messages are email messages designed to trick you into divulging your username and password. In this case, the phishing messages were written so that they looked like they were sent from Middlebury’s Department of Public Safety. An example of this phishing message is included below.
Middlebury’s email system was able to filter the vast majority of these phishing messages, delivering them into each recipient’s Spam Quarantines. Even with this protection, however, a few individuals released the messages from their quarantines, opened the messages, and clicked on the phishing links therein.
Always use caution with quarantined messages. The quarantine is specifically designed to protect you from phishing attacks crafted to trick you into divulging your Middlebury account username and password. If you have any questions about a quarantined message, contact the Help Desk or send a note to firstname.lastname@example.org. We would be glad to help.
To help raise awareness about community efforts to prevent significant security issues, Middlebury Information Security has launched a ‘Security Scout of the Month’ award.
This month Information Security would like to recognize Amy Dale who promptly and accurately responded to potential malware activity by unplugging her computer and reaching out to the Help Desk for immediate assistance.
When asked, Amy shared this advice about computer security, “My previous work experience, particularly at AOL, helped prepare me to be more alert and aware of scams. A previous manager always said, “when in doubt, leave it out.” In other words, when you’re the least bit hesitant, then don’t open/click/download, etc. “
This astute awareness and keen insight is why Amy is this month’s ‘Security Scout of the Month’.
We are excited to celebrate the hard work and security conscious efforts of our community. Please watch for the next ‘Security Scout of the Month’ and help us recognize these efforts.
If you would like to recognize an individual for their information security contributions or would like to raise an information security concern, please contact email@example.com.
When you are reading e-mail or browsing online, be on the lookout for suspicious links and deceptive web pages, which are major sources of malware. Also be careful of downloadable files since they can introduce malware. And remember that additional browser plugins and unused applications require additional patching to remain secure. Here are some suggestions to make your day-to-day computing more productive, safe, and secure.
Keep your software up-to-date. Be sure to install antivirus updates and regularly check for and install updates for any applications or browser plugins you may run on your computer. (e.g., Adobe Flash and Java)
Be more secure! Don’t enter sensitive or personal information into a URL unless you have verified the address and you have ensured its security by checking that it includes HTTPS.
When in doubt, ignore. Don’t click on pop-up windows or extraneous ads. And, don’t click on links in emails or web sites until you have verified their destinations by hovering your mouse over the link.
Keep your private information safe. Use a strong, unique password or passphrase for each account, and avoid storing account information on a website. And consider using a digital password wallet such as 1Password or LastPass to secure your passwords.
Segregate your browsing activities. Consider using separate browsers for sensitive logins and general web browsing.
Use private networks for sensitive transactions. Avoid checking your bank account, making purchases, or logging in to other websites that include sensitive information when using public Wi-Fi.
Go stealth when browsing. Your browser can store quite a bit of information about your online activities, including cookies, cached pages, and history. To ensure the privacy of personal information online, limit access by going “incognito” and using the browser’s private mode.
You may not realize it, but you are a phishing target at school, at work, and at home. Phishing attacks are a type of computer attack that use malicious emails to trick targets into giving up sensitive information. Ultimately, you are the most effective way to detect and stop phishing scams. When viewing email messages, texts, or social media posts, use the following techniques to prevent your passwords, personal data, or private information from being stolen by a phishing attack.
Verify the source. Check the sender’s email address to make sure it’s legitimate. Remember that the name of the sender is not the important part. The sender’s email address is what you are really looking for. If in doubt, forward your message to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Read the entire message carefully. Phishing messages may include a formal salutation, overly-friendly tone, grammatical errors, urgent requests, or gimmicks that do not match the normal tone of the sender.
Avoid clicking on erroneous links. Even if you know the sender, be cautious of links and attachments in messages. Don’t click on links that could direct you to a bad website. Hovering your mouse over a link should disclose the actual web address that the link is directing you too, which may be different from what is displayed in the message. Make sure this masked address is a site you want to visit.
Verify the intent of all attachments with the sender before opening them. Even when you know a sender, you should never open an attachment unless have checked with the sender to verify the attachment was sent intentionally. Word and Excel documents can contain malicious macros which could harm your computer. Other files, such as zip files and PDF files, could download malware onto your system. Always verify the intent of attachments with the sender before you open them from an email.
Verifying a message is always better than responding to a phish. If you ever receive a message that provides reason to pause, it is always better to forward the message to email@example.com or to send a separate email to the sender to verify its intent, before clicking a link or opening an attachment that could potentially impact the security of your computer..
Change your passwords if you have fallen for a phish. If you think you have fallen for a phishing attack, change your password at go/password and then contact the helpdesk at x2200. It is also a good practice to change your personal passwords outside of the College.
Watch for phishing scams. Common phishing scams are published at sites such as http://IC3.gov , http://phishing.org ,https://www.irs.gov/uac/Report-Phishing. These resources will also allow you to report phishing attacks if you should fall victim outside of the College. Again, if you think you have fallen victim to a phishing attack, always start by changing your passwords.